Psy 325: questions on disability & grief: for your answers, please


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From the excerpt: “Far from the tree” by Andrew Solomon

1. Finish the sentence as someone who stigmatizes (w/o assuming that you do!): “Disabled individuals are ….. “ (what?)

2. Why do we stigmatize and devaluate people who are ill or disabled?

3. What is vertical identity? What is horizontal identity? Give examples.

4. Discuss the difference between identity and illness, in relation to disability. Give 2 examples.  In relation to this – do our decisions to maximize health and avoid illness devalue those who are sick and different? If your answer is NO, try to imagine why some people claim that normalization surgeries (for example) could be experienced as devaluing or rejecting of the disabled…

5. Are parents of disabled children / caretakers more stressed out than regular parents? Are these families suffering more? What do you think? Which are possible risk and protective factors (resources) for these families?

Read slides 17-21 (and corresponding material in the textbook) and reflect on your position. Are you FOR or AGAINST termination of pregnancy based on the impairment of the foetus? Argue your position.

Read slides 22-23 (and corresponding material in the textbook) and reflect on your position. Should more countries make euthanasia for the severely disabled children legal? Why and why not? 


Read “The Wrong One Died” by Irvin Yalom. Answer the following

1. How would you call the type of grief that Penny experienced? What type of grief is it? In other words, what adjective would you add to the word “grief” as experienced by Penny?

2. What are the symptoms and behaviors seen in Penny due to her loss?

3. What did the psychotherapist do with Penny, which helped therapeutically? What therapeutic interventions (even very small ones) you noticed?

4. One paragraph reflection over this case. What was your reaction to what you read? How did you like the therapeutic connection between the psychotherapist (Irvin Yalom) and Penny?

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